The local Yavapai Shriners Club are bringing the circus to town. You may be wondering who the Shriners are and what they have to do with the circus? I found myself wondering the same thing, so I contacted them and arranged to meet with the president of the Yavapai Shrine Club; Richard Guinn who suggested I stop by before their monthly meeting, which was held at the Elks lodge in Prescott Valley.
I was expecting to show up ask a few questions and be on my way, I certainly wasn't expecting to be invited to stay for dinner and the ensuing meeting, but I am so glad I took them up on their offer as it gave me the opportunity to have more in depth conversations with several members and provided a glimpse into who the Shriners are and what they do on a up close and personal level. As one gentleman was telling me about his experiences working with the Shriners Hospitals for Children ,seeing a child provided with prosthetic legs play and run for the first time, he was moved to tears recalling the story as he told me, "this is why we do what we do" .
You may you may recognize them by their signature red fez hat's or the funny little mini cars they drive around at parades, or maybe you even recognize the name associated with the Shriners hospitals. But who are they and what do goes much deeper than that. They will tell you that they are members of a fraternal organization whose focus is on philanthropic activities.
What I discovered is that they are group of kindhearted, friendly and outgoing people who work together to create fun opportunities for fundraising events. While most people are aware that the largest benefactor of these events is the Shriners Hospitals for Children, most don't realize that the Shriners also work to raise funds for events that benefit children right here in their local community. The biggest one being the Clothe a Child event held the first and second weekends in December at the two local Wal-Mart's.
As your sitting at the circus enjoying the show, you can smile a little bigger knowing that not only did your ticket provide you with a night of entertainment, but it is also helping to provide for children in need.